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Outdoor Activities in Switzerland

Sport in Switzerland

The Swiss, as a nation, are great sports enthusiasts and around two-thirds of the Swiss population take part in some sporting activity at least once a week. Among the most popular sports are skiing, rambling, soccer, ice hockey, basketball, cycling, swimming, tennis,gymnastics and walking. The Swiss national sports are Schwingen (traditional alpine wrestling) and Hornussen ( which is a cross between baseball and golf). Winter is the time when Switzerland really comes into its own with its selection of winter sports in some of the world’s most beautiful settings. Winter sports are popular with locals and overseas visitors alike and include snowshoeing, snowboarding, tobogganing and ice skating. In the summer months there is rambling and hiking among the most popular, Switzerland has over 50,000 kilometres of hiking trails. Switzerland is the headquarters of a number of international sports federations, such as the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne (IOC), the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) in Zurich, and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) in Nyon.

Skiing in Switzerland

When choosing a destination to go skiing, why not choose Switzerland, after all it is where the first recorded ski holiday took place back in 1865 in the famous town of St Moritz, and with Switzerland being one of the four countries , along with Austria, France and Norway, to develop skiing, it has learnt to cater for your every need. When people think of Switzerland, they may well think of thee Alps and skiing, however the alps are in more then one country and Switzerland has more to offer than just skiing, yet it goes to prove the effects that skiing in this country has had on the outside world. The Swiss ski resorts, large or small offer excellent skiing facilities and breathtaking scenery, not to mention the quality of food and excellent service, and now with many of the top resorts being car no-go areas, your holiday has been enhanced and the resorts keep their beauty for longer. Some of the more famous resorts are called Gstaad, Wengen, Grindelwald, Villars and Klosters. Zermatt offers the highest skiing in Europe and is the only skiing resort in Europe to offer skiing 365 days a year.The ski resorts are suitable for all levels of skier and offer excellent coaching for the beginners. And once your day of skiing is over, relax back at one of the many fine resorts and enjoy a drink in the bars by traditional log fires.

Read all you need to know about the wonderful world of skiing from What to Wear, Ski Tours, Mountain Passes, Ski Resorts, Learn to Ski or Snowboard tips right through to the lively night-life of Apres-Ski.

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Switzerland offers a great choice of ski resorts, from the small village to the large station, with hundreds of mountain railways and ski lifts to take the hard work out of Swiss skiing. There are ski instructors available to look after pupils at every stage of their training

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Walking in Switzerland

Walking through the mountains of Switzerland is both rewarding and a panoramic marvel. The stereotypes we think of such as wooden chalets, gently ringing cowbells, snow capped mountains lining the horizon are the the things you will see as you wonder through the open flower filled meadows along the lakes and into the free flowing pastures.You can experience many different types of walks, from easy level terrain to the more experienced steep mountain hikes. Walking is the real way to see and enjoy the real Switzerland.

Mountain Climbing in Switzerland

Switzerland offers many climbing choices, along side the well known names which of course are extremely popular. Parts of the Swiss Alps are similar to the Canadian Rockies, with similar mountain peaks and green alpine meadows. But there are also jagged areas of beautiful steep limestone, and clean granite peaks reminiscent of the Bugaboos of British Columbia. Among the several main climbing centers in Switzerland, Zermatt is perhaps the best known, but certainly others deserve equal attention. Saas Fee, the valley just east of Zermatt, also has a wide variety of good climbs, offering perhaps even a better selection of climbs in the middle range of difficulty. The Berner Oberland, home to the famous Monch, Jungfrau, and Eiger, also boasts other worthy objectives such as the Wetterhorn and Schreckhorn. Accessed from the pastoral town of Grindelwald, this area is only about 3 hours from Zermatt by train. The Engadine valley in southeast Switzerland is another good center, home to the beautiful town of St Moritz as well as the more mountain-climber oriented village of Pontresina. Piz Bernina and Piz Palu are the best known and most popular climbs in the area. These and surrounding summits Piz Morteratsch and Rosegg, contain some of the best alpine climbing in Switzerland. If you have enjoyed spending some time in any of the previous areas, you should definitely consider a trip to the Engadine next!Finally, the fantastic ratite walls of both the Salbitschen area and the Piz Badile are prime destinations for the alpine rock climber. The amazingly extensive Swiss Federal Railways system is the best way to get around the country. Using the trains you can reach several areas in a short time and create a great climbing trip. Grindelwald is about 3 hours from Zermatt. Saas Fee is even closer. The Engadine is further away, and takes most of a day to get reach from any of these areas.

Cycling and the EuroVelo in Switzerland

Cycling or Bicycling as it is less known is a form of transport, recreation and sport which has had a significant resurgence in recent years due to rising fuel costs, traffic congestion as well as a means of keeping fit. Depending on the kind of cycling you wish to do, there is a bike suitable to your needs. From mountain bikes, Tourers, Road Bikes to racing bikes, there is a cycle to fit all. In areas in which cycling is popular and encouraged, cycle-parking facilities using bicycle stands, lockable mini-garages, and patrolled cycle parks are used in order to reduce theft. Local governments promote cycling by permitting bicycles to be carried on public transport or by providing external attachment devices on public transport vehicles. Conversely, an absence of secure cycle-parking is a recurring complaint by cyclists from cities with low modal share of cycling. The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) is coordinating the development of a network of high-quality cycling routes that connect the whole continent. The routes can be used by long-distance cycle tourists, as well as by local people making daily journeys. EuroVelo currently comprises of 14 routes and it is envisaged that the network will be substantially complete by 2020…..

Read More on the EuroVelo Routes

Engadin St Moritz Switzerland

Read ‘Here for further information on Outdoor Activities amid the beautiful Alpine region of the Engadin

Engadin St. Moritz: the home of winter sport – Four large and seven small snow sport areas transform Engadin St. Moritz into a varied winter wonderland – one of the most extensive in Switzerland. And one of the most beautiful, too.

Hiking in the Engadin region of Switzerland – When the sun shines over the Upper Engadin, the lake plateau, the side valleys and the flanks of the mountains are transformed into a poetic interplay of shadow and light.

Mountain-climbing in the Engadin region of Switzerland – Alpinism enjoys a long-standing tradition in the region, especially in Pontresina.

Mountain Biking in the Engadin region of Switzerland – Engadin St. Moritz is a paradise for everyone who feels at home in the (bicycle) saddle. Exploring this glorious Alpine landscape is a never-ending thrill

Mountain Gastronomy. The height of good taste. In Engadin St. Moritz, there are 34 mountain restaurants situated right next to the pistes, offering a surprisingly wide selection of culinary treats.Naturally they also serve fondue and alpine macaroni. But now and again, it is worth spending an extended lunch break or even a whole evening delighting in outstanding alpine gastronomy. For the ski areas in the Upper Engadin are also veritable gourmet Meccas.

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